Happy New Year here; Chinese New Year comes July 29

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It is officially the year 2017. Soon enough, the year of the rooster begins on Jan. 29, when the Chinese New Year starts.

The New Year is a funny thing. There are so many different ways around the world to celebrate it. Not everybody stays up late to watch the ball drop and sing along to “New York, New York.” It all depends on your culture and maybe the country you are from. And sometimes how much money you have. But almost everybody celebrates.

In China, it isn’t even the New Year yet. But when it comes, there will be major celebrations and traditions. There are firecrackers, dragons, presents, games, and of course, special foods. There is a special tradition, where you sweep your whole house, open your front door, and let all the old spirits out and bring in the new ones. One superstition of the Chinese New Year is to never cut a long rope of pasta because it represents a long, lucky, life.

For Native Americans, there are completely different ways to bring in the New Year. Some Native American tribes celebrate according to Mother Nature. On the winter solstice, they rejoice at the coming of the sun. The Hopi and the Zuni tribes celebrate on Dec. 22 with a ceremony called Soyal. Soyal is a ceremony of renewal and purification. There is a ritual for welcoming back the sun.

The New Year is a global holiday, one of the only holidays celebrated by almost everyone in the world. It is important to understand and know the differences in the way we celebrate such a popular holiday.